After going through torture and persecution and such a long court case, I am devastated. This sends the signal that we are no longer free to express ourselves.

Edson Chakuma, a trade union leader in Zimbabwe, after a court found him and five others guilty of conspiring to commit public violence.

The crime: screening a film about the Arab Spring.

Via the Independent:

The group was charged with treason in February last year after they and 40 others were arrested at a trade union office, at which a film consisting of television news clips of the rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt were shown.

The six say they were tortured in custody -– by being beaten with planks of wood –- until they confessed to plotting to overthrow President Mugabe, 88. The 40 others were released and, in a case that has lasted more than a year, the charges against the six were eventually downgraded from treason, which carries the death penalty.

Sentencing occurs today.

The Independent, Guilty — of watching a film on the Arab Spring in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

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